Thursday, 16 June 2016

Watch video before reading! + set video to loop.

LLOYD EVANS - Prototype sequence (Corpse) from Lloyd Evans on Vimeo.

After discussing Guy Sherwins 'Paper landscape' in a previous blog entry I will not recount my reading of the work here. However this work has stayed with me, in particular the final sequence where he cuts through the picture screen destroying the work and revealing its artifice has stuck in my mind. With this final destructive act the 'illusion' of the work is destroyed and 'reality' is reinstated. I started to consider how this creates a hierarchy between image and reality, where the constructed image becomes subordinated to reality. But is not reality also a construct? Our sight does not 'see' the world around us, our brain interprets electrical impulses from our optic nerve and creates an image of the world which only exists in our minds. A simple blind spot experiment easily reveals how a small part of our field of vision is actually missing and that our brain simply fills in the missing piece with what it believes is likely to be there! Touch is no more real, smooth, rough, furry, cold, are centred in our minds not the world around us. All our senses conspire construct our own personal reality in much the same way an artist interprets an experience and presents it back to the viewer.

In this work I sought to question this hierarchy. At first the viewer is lulled by the familiar, the expected, the animation progresses with its relentless pace, changes occur but they are familiar and quickly become routine. With the burning of the animation the viewer is initially destabilised. A liminal space is created which the viewer momentarily questions what they are seeing. With the screens burning you first become aware that you are not just watching an animation but a videoed projection of an animation. As the forest behind is revealed the viewer becomes aware that the event is located in a place, namely a forest. Reality has been revealed and the viewer is given time to settle into this new 'truth'. With the burning of the forest on the second screen the viewer again is destabilised, reality has also been reveal as a construct and the third screen links back to the first. As the work loops a sense of a beginning and end are lost, does reality make way for the animation or does the animation make way for reality

This was all shot in one take, there are technical issues to address such as the smoothness of the looping from beginning to end, the length of the clip,  and the slight walring of the forest screen before the fire starts. This alerts the vier that something is wrong before the screen starts to burn. At one point the screen also jumps which looks like the video is badly cut together but in reality I accidentally kicked the camera stand!

The third screen should have been white on reflection and featured the animation from the first screen, then a seamless loop could have been created. Without a starting point or end point the question of what comes first, image or reality is realised and the hierarchy of the two states is questioned. I intend to reshoot the work to address these issues.

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